Ride a Better Gaited Horse by Larry Whitesell

Ride a Better Gaited Horse
Larry Whitesell

Larry Whitesell has been training gaited horses for almost 30 years. He uses his knowledge of classical training to produce horses that are light, soft and gait with seemingly no effort. He gets horses to gait that have been given up on. Clients who have had horses trained at his facility say "If you just think it, the horse does it." These methods can be accomplished by anyone who is willing to spend the time and effort.

What You Will Learn from this DVD series:

- What makes your horse gait
- How to improve gait without devices
- Lightness - How to develop the horse gymnastically to facilitate relaxation, create flexibility and balance
- How to school the horse in hand and under saddle
- How to build engagement to improve gait without building resistance
- How you ride affects your horse's balance and gait
- Balanced, light stops
- Collection

In the gaited horse industry, many horses need to be brought into a more classical frame to gait. It is common practice to use large bits and equipment to try to obtain gait. The problem is that many horses trained by these methods become pacey or reactive or both, as the use of force creates stiffness. The gaited horse, like all other breeds, must have rhythm in his movement and footfall. When there is stiffness or braces, the horse loses rhythm.

We must train our horse not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Horses express their emotions often by tensing up physically against outside stumuli, including any form of contact with the handler. Instead of getting relaxation, so we can "teach" a correct response, it seems easier to put a piece of equipment on the horse to persuade him. Depending on the severity of the equipment and the riders hands or temperment, the horse begins to react. Horses that react are not as reliable or consistent as those that learn to respond to subtle cues. Crisis management is not management. It leaves many victims in its path. We don't want to "get" horses to do things, that is not training.

Larry Whitesell has been training gaited horses since 1980. He has been very successful in the show ring, winning many regional, national and grand national championships. He held judges cards in several gaited breeds. In 2002, he was Trainer of the Year.

In the early 1990's, Larry was not satisfied training horses to just win ribbons. He wanted to train "using" or pleasure horses to a very high level, to make a safer, more dependable horse for his clients. Horses trained like this should also do well in the show ring or anywhere else an owner wanted to take them.

Larry began learning classical dressage because he wanted correctness, and liked the lightness and softness these horses showed. Later, after spending time with several "natural horsemen", he felt they were teaching him the same things his classical teachers had. They taught the same movements, philosophy, and basically the same techniques. They just called movements different names and dressed differently. So he continues to learn from both schools.

Now, Larry travels the U.S. and Canada doing clinics and horse fairs. He still primarily spends time training the ultimate pleasure horses for people around the country.

This title is in the following categories:

Gaits - Gaited

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